BOSTON -- It’s like they traded for Drew Pomeranz all over again -- but got a completely different pitcher.
Ironic, given commissioner Rob Manfred was present Sunday and told reporters that the Red Sox could have rescinded the trade after news broke from foul play by San Diego.
MORE FROM MANFRED: Manfred, MLB offered Red Sox the opportunity to rescind Pomeranz deal
After his appearance from the bullpen Sunday night, it almost seems like it was worth it -- in the short term at least.
Not only was Pomeranz effective -- giving his team a second option for a lefty from the pen in October -- but his fastball was pumping, touching 96.
If you look at his average fastball velocity, according to Fangraphs, his hardest throwing season was 2015 when he averaged his fastball sat 91.9, as a reliever.
“I don’t know, maybe some extra rest…I don’t know,” Pomeranz said when asked where the huge velocity jump came from.
Starters tend to throw much harder when they move to the pen. Which makes sense, since there’s no need to pace themselves. But to see a 5-MPH jump, when fatigue’s setting -- to go with throwing 91-92 in the rotation or out of the bullpen -- it just doesn’t make sense, no matter how you spin it.
While Sunday’s outing was great, it comes with another follow up for Pomeranz, “Can you do that again?”
“We’ll see, I don’t know,” he said. “Feeling pretty good mechanically. Had some extra time to really focus on those mechanics.”
So it’s up in the air if Pomeranz can be a power arm from the pen down the stretch. But he doesn’t feel that’s crucial to his success. What’s more important is he’s familiar with the role.
“I haven’t come out of the bullpen in a game -- I guess I did in the All-Star game -- since last year,” Pomeranz said. “I feel pretty comfortable out there coming into any situation because I’ve done everything.
“It feels just like yesterday I was in the bullpen. You can’t really faze me out there since I’d done everything just last year . . . I know the mentality coming in there. It’s a different game coming out of the bullpen than it is starting.”
Clear conviction from a typically soft-spoken starter. Maybe there is an edgy side to Pomeranz, all he needed was to be back in a position he’s more familiar with.